Christians in politics: Okowa commends church leaders
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Delta Governor, Senator, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has commended church leaders for awakening interest of Christians to participate actively in politics and governance in Nigeria.
Okowa spoke on Wednesday at the First Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN)’s Directorate of Politics and Governance (DPG) Regional Conference at PFN’s Alpha and Omega City, Agbarho, Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
The Conference with “Project Nigeria: The Church, A Panacea For The Right Leadership” as theme had in attendance delegates from Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Edo, Delta as well as Yobe, Adamawa and Zamfara states.
Okowa said that the church must first realise that it had huge advantage if it remained united in its quest to ensure that right leaders were voted into office.
He called on church leaders to be united in prayers, trusting God to show the broad path to the success of the nation.
The governor urged Christians to seek the face of God continually, adding that “when the spirit of God leads there will be no failures”.
“I want to thank the Church for beginning to think in this direction. It must be of note that the church is not trying to divide the nation but to unite us with the right communication on our participation in politics and governance.
“For us to awaken the giant in us, we must first of all realise that we are a giant.
“The Church of Christ in itself is a giant and it is possible for us to do a lot of things through prayers and actions because faith without works is dead,” he said.
He cautioned that for Christians to succeed in politics, they must put the nation first and not personal interests.
“If the church is genuinely involved in the political process and governance, it is possible for them to make some recommendations on good governance.
“If somebody is truly nominated into a position by the church, there are lots of ways the church can play an active role to ensure accountability in governance.
“We are just starting but in the near future, we may be able to dictate the face of politics in the country,” Okowa added.
He admonished Christians contesting in elections to conduct themselves in the fear of the Lord, saying “we want a united Nigeria and we want a situation where those who truly believe in God find themselves in leadership positions and be accountable to God.
“Sometimes when some leaders emerge they become too big for the church. You can’t be too big for God or the church; there is a lot of teaching and communications to be done to enlighten leaders on the need to be accountable to God.” he stated.
In his remarks earlier, National Director of DPG, Rev. Femi Emmanuel, said the directorate was established to mobilise, sensitise, educate and awaken the giant in the church.
He described the church as a “sleeping giant” and disclosed that PFN alone had 65 million Nigerians as members.
“You can’t have such a number and the country is dying. The giant has arisen and we are no longer asleep. Without organising our members we are just many for nothing.
“We are still going to be praying but beyond prayers we must be involved. The DPG has arisen to change the character and way of how governance is carried out in the country,” he said.
Emmanuel commended the South-South zone of the group for a successful conference and called on all churches under PFN to set up DPG, from National to local assemblies.
Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Delta Chapter, Dr Sylvanus Okorotie, urged Christians in the state to arm themselves with their voter cards and ensure that they voted on election days to install the right leadership for the country.
Welcoming guests earlier, PFN Chairman South-South, Apostle David Zilly-Aggrey, had said that the DPG was an arm of the PFN and tasked with the responsibility of sensitising Christians to believe and participate in politics to install the right leadership at all levels.
Highpoint of the occasion was the installation of Governor Okowa and Amayanabo of Twon-Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, as Grand Patron and Grand Patron Emeritus of PFN, South-South.